PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Baxter Academy for Technology and Science has yet to get a certificate of occupancy for its building, with just two weeks to go until the first day of school. The school building flunked another inspection yesterday.
But school leaders say they will be ready in time, and city officials say that's not an unreasonable assumption. Baxter Academy's Executive Director, Carl Stasio, says he is concerned that the building has not passed inspection, but he's not worried. "I really do believe we're at the end of this. Would we have liked to get that certificate yesterday? Absolutely. But this is a process that we feel we're in control of."
Portland's Director of Inspections, Tammy Munson, said it's not only common for commercial inspections like this one to fail multiple times, it's the norm. "I would say that probably 95 percent of commercial inspections, the final inspections, are not ready when we go there the first time, and they end up with punch list items, and we have to go back and do another inspection."
Among the items on Baxter's punch list are testing sprinklers and fire alarms, creating some fire walls, and fixing some electrical issues. The first day of school is scheduled for September 4.
"We do have a contingency plan," Stasio said. "But I don't think we're going to need it. I'd just as soon not lay that out at this point because it just plays into people's fears."
Munson said often the city gives temporary certificates of occupancy, when commercial buildings do not have safety issues, but are not entirely up to code.
Stasio said he expects Baxter to pass inspection next week.